So you want to know what is taking me so long to “get on board”? Let me try to answer with some discussion of what my 25 years on Wall Street and the Hedge Fund community have taught me, and what insights I can share in order to explain my stance.
As you know, anyone in our profession meets with countless management teams on a monthly, quarterly, and annual basis. The “plots” change from time to time and the cast of characters play musical chairs. After awhile, they become all too familiar. You have seen the movie before. When you spot the corrupt CFO enter the scene, it immediately casts a doubt on the rest of the management team. One or two conclusions can be drawn – either they are inept or they wanted a dishonest player. Neither answer provides any comfort, but always insight. I have been lied to by the best of them over the decades; I am sure you have had similar experiences.
After years of stepping in land mines, I learned to read people and situations. I had no choice – my listening skills were honed, my gut fine-tuned. I picked up on what was and was not said, and I always paid close attention to the cast of characters. The actions of a management team always told me more than anything they ever said. If they were bailing out, so was I. If the head of sales left unexpectedly, alarm bells went of.
In the thirteen years that I have had audited results, I lost money in only one year, and then only in single digits. I am proud that I was able repay my investors’ faith and confidence in me by compounding their funds assets, net of fees, at 18% over those 13 years. I took my responsibilities seriously and when I knew I could not give it 110% of my energies, I turned it over to someone who would. My investors deserved someone who would work tirelessly on their behalf, looking under every rock in support of their interests.
The fact that I became successful was not what made me proud. It was how I did it. My soul is intact. It was the self-imposed rules and standards that I adhered to. I believed in a win, win, and still do. My investors always came first. I never screwed anyone over. I made plenty of mistakes, but I always owned them, never blaming others. I treated everyone fairly and with respect, believing everyone has
something to offer. I always tried to do the right thing.
So what does this have to do with me not falling in line and
supporting Obama? Well everything as you can see.
Andy, if I worked and served the people in the 13th District in
Chicago, I would have known all of the players. And to win that district, would I have gamed the system to run unopposed? Tony Rezko would not have had a seat at my table. Either Obama is a fool and is blind to what should have been obvious, or someone like Tony is fine by Obama’s standards. The guy is a dirtball. And a dirtball would not
be part of my circle, certainly not my inner circle. I would rather not be elected than associate with someone like Rezko.
Nor for political or any other reasons would I choose Rev. Wright, Rev. Meeks, or Father Plager as my spiritual mentors. Again, he is either blind or an opportunist. Would I be hanging out with Mr. Ayers? Would you? Would you refuse to be photographed with Gavin Newsom? There is a pattern with this guy – he manipulates; the ends justify the means. He lacks character.
Getting not one bill passed in the first 6 years of his career in not inspiring. Having Emil Jones hand him the ball 26 times on the one-yard line in order to make Obama a United States Senator does not cut it either. What deals he made, he did to benefit no one but himself. He never worked long enough in either Senate to help the people who elected him. Andy, I could never imagine you taking credit for legislation someone else slaved over. Starting in his community organizing days he claimed sole responsibility for other people’s accomplishments all for the purpose to boosting his career.
In terms of the campaign itself, I had the opportunity to witness his methods up close. During the primaries I was in 6 states, 2 of which had caucuses; it was not clean. El Paso was a joke with the Obama campaign stealing the caucus packets, locking supporters out – Intimidation 101, 102 and
103. Fair elections do not seem to be a priority in my birth state. No other machine exists from the days of Boss
Tweed, but Chicago’s. How many elected officials are in jail?They are the joke of the nation. It is called the Chicago machine for good reason.
It was clear that what I saw and experienced was not a fluke or isolated incidents, but coordinated, deliberate and arrogant. I got to see him and his organization for who he is and what it is – not inspiring, to say the least. Not something I would have, in business, endorsed in any way. In fact, I would most likely have reported them to the appropriate regulators.
Andy, I have consistently found you to be a compassionate person, but more importantly you have always put your money where your mouth is. Does it not bother you that a guy like Obama can serve a poor district and give away a paltry $1000 to charity? He only stepped up his giving when he decided to run for President and he knew his charitable
giving would be made public. How could anyone see that much misery and not try to personally do something about it?
Please, show me something this guy ever did that was not done in a calculated fashion to create and advance his own personal narrative? Something selfless, perhaps, just because it was the right thing to do?
Every person I have talked to who worked at the Law Review at Harvard with him, or in the later part of his career, said the same thing: he was arrogant and self-centered. One person laughed, saying Obama wanted to be King of the World, that he was always running for something, never staying in one place long enough to amass accomplishments or be held accountable.
Do you not you find it troublesome that he has hundreds of paid bloggers, posting vicious attacks not only about the Clintons but her supporters as well? The whole purpose was to cast him as the second coming, while trashing her and quashing other points of view.
At first I thought is was just some hyped up kids, and then a pattern emerged. He paid others to do his dirty work. The most egregious sexist cracks were rampant, both on the Internet and the MSM. Yet, what did Howard and Obama say? Nothing. Obama promoted it, paid his bloggers to write it. Never once did he try to stop it. Howard, after the damage was done finally commented on it, but barely. Wink,
Andy, I heard remarks that still make my jaw drop.
You know I consider myself a centrist. The right wing of the
Republican Party scares me, but so does the left. Ideologues of either side should not have control simultaneously of the executive, legislative, and judicial arms of the government. Absolute power corrupts, be it on the left or the right. Ha, but you will say…. the courts. If you have the legislative branch, all will be fine. McCain voted Ginsberg in, he is not a stupid man and certainly not an Ideologue, and he took heat in the primaries for refusing to have a litmus test for judges. And need I remind you that Obama thought Roberts was an acceptable appointment until some more experienced hands in the Senate told him that would not do?
Painting him as Bush 3 is a little annoying, and what’s up with the MoveOn Baby Alex commercial? Give credit where credit is due. McCain went against his own party twice on immigration reform, on ethanol subsidies, and campaign finance reform. He started talking about Global warming 8 years ago. I don’t agree with McCain on a number of topics, but I do believe he has principals and a backbone. He is not
willing to say anything to get elected.
I can’t say the same for Obama who is turning out to be more like Bush than McCain; Obama is at least as arrogant as W, just more polished. Are you not ashamed, in these past weeks, of his reckless abandon of any pretense to a moral center on issues such as FISA, separation of church and state, gun control? And what he did to one of my heroes,
Wes Clark? Insulting my intelligence and my standards will not win me over.
But, in this conversation, you will say, McCain wants to be in Iraq for 100 years. No, he said that as in Japan, or Korea, we could have a presence. We have been in both of those countries for 60 years and not leaving any time soon, and the world is safer for it.
Next will be, McCain is not knowledgeable about the economy. While with Carly Fiorina, who I remember from her Lucent days, at a town meeting he turned the mic over to Carly when asked about the mortgage mess, painting her as the expert. Wow – he gave a woman a compliment, praising her knowledge, referring to her as the expert. How often
have you praised Charles, or me, and everyone for that matter? Why? Because you are gracious and you know it reflects well on you.
All this might not bother me if so much if the stakes where not so high, but they are. I am an issues person, not a cult of personality devotee. Substance matters. Barack is a politician, an inexperienced one at that, pretending he is different. I just see him as arrogant and power hungry. Our country deserves better, someone I would be proud to do business with.
Andy, my country comes first, not the Democrat party. Having said that, I believe that the Democratic Party has just kicked away the best candidate and our best chance to redeem our country, Hillary Clinton, a proven centrist. Given his resume, or should I say the lack of one, he is either ineffective or hiding something, neither answer gives me the warm and fuzzies. If she is chosen in Denver, you can
count on my full and enthusiastic support. Until then,
I own my vote.